This week we will examine the Second Sorrow of Mary, which was the Holy Family’s Flight into Egypt.
…Behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod (Matthew 2:13-15).
This Lent we will reflect on what are known as the Seven Sorrows of Mary. One of the traditional titles for our Blessed Mother is Our Lady of Sorrows, which affirms that there were moments throughout her life, found in Scripture, where we see that Mary experienced authentic human suffering, just as we all do. However, Mary is a woman of deep faith, which we see in her fiat as she tells the angel that she is the handmaid of the Lord and is open to His plan for her life without even knowing what it is (Luke 1:38). In this, she teaches us how to suffer better and in a way that grows our own faith rather than diminishes it. We also know that Mary is so deeply connected to Jesus that her sorrows are intimately joined to Him and His own suffering. Through this, she serves as an example of how to join our own personal suffering to Jesus’.READ MORE
In this last installment of this series, we will look at the final two sacraments, which are Holy Orders and Matrimony. The Catechism refers to these two as the Sacraments at the Service of Communion. They are vocational sacraments, which are ordered not only to the salvation of the one receiving the sacrament, but are also ordered toward the salvation of others, building up the Kingdom of God (CCC #1533-1534). It is by the grace of your vocational sacrament that you are able to evangelize others with Jesus’ message, be a witness of authentic Christian love, and offer your suffering for those whom you serve within your vocation.READ MORE
This week we will continue our examination of the sacraments with the second sacrament of healing, called Anointing of the Sick. Illness, and the suffering that comes with it, is a condition that came to humanity through Original Sin. When creating Adam and Eve, God endowed them with particular preternatural gifts, one of which was that they were never intended to suffer bodily corruption of any sort. However, with the Fall came the loss of these gifts. We were thereby subject to bodily corruption, which includes illness and eventual death. I do not have to explain that illness and suffering are tremendous problems that we deal with in our human condition, forcing us to look at our own mortality. Sometimes these realities can lead us to “anguish, self-absorption, sometimes even despair and revolt against God. It can also make a person more mature, helping him discern in his life what is not essential so that he can turn toward that which is” (CCC #1501). To the end of helping us use our suffering from illness to turn toward God, rather than away, Jesus gave us this particular sacrament to offer the divine grace we need for perseverance and healing, whether physical or spiritual (CCC #1500-1501).READ MORE